[Ed. – But of course the media have moved on from this non-story.]
Over the course of the week, additional facts and accounts came to light that cast further doubt on [Mayor] Zimmer’s claims, the only “evidence” of which are unverifiable scrawlings from a diary she said she wrote last May. CNN reported that Zimmer had explicitly denied any withheld Sandy funds were the result of any political machinations just one week prior to changing her story for MSNBC. In addition, a Democratic mayor of a different New Jersey town — who, according to Zimmer’s account, was present for one of the extortionary encounters — stated for the record that his recollection does not coincide with hers. He went on to praise Team Christie for their professionalism and responsiveness in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Zimmer has since announced that she won’t comment publicly on her allegations any further, in accordance with a supposed request from investigators. With her story unraveling, the Associated Press is out with a new analysis that strikes another blow against her credibility:
The city whose Democratic mayor said GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to her support for a real estate project has, so far, received a level of aid from state-run programs that is similar to what other towns got, a review of grant data shows. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer is no longer discussing her allegations that New Jersey’s second-largest city has been shortchanged on Sandy funds, that its aid is being held “hostage” as political leverage or that she feared further retribution in the next round of funding.
The empirical data:
Hoboken has so far received two state grants from pools of state-controlled money, according to a review by The Associated Press. The state awarded $25 million for energy projects to help deal with outages; Hoboken received $142,080 — the same amount as 39 other recipients. The state also provided money to communities hit by the storm to hire experts and come up with long-term recovery plans; Hoboken’s $200,000 grant was the fourth-highest allocation among the 35 local governments in the program.